We have had some pretty cold and dreary weather lately, and this kind of weather always causes me to crave soup. This weekend, Brent was eager to experiment with something new. Brent discovered Solyanka, a spicy and sour soup that originates from Russia but is also popular in Germany and former Eastern Block countries.
Solyanka is traditionally prepared in three different varieties: meat, fish, or mushroom. When Brent shared our recipe development with our friend Russ, who you might know as The Domestic Man, his first question was “Meat, fish, or mushroom?” As someone who specializes in recreating traditional recipes, it was no surprise to us that he was already familiar.
We have more than a handful of Brussels sprouts recipes. But, we love them so much, we’re always looking for creative ways to make them. A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, Brent’s mom saw a Brussels sprouts slaw at Wegmans and told us about it. We agreed that it was an interesting idea, but there were a few ingredients we wouldn’t usually incorporate into our cooking. So I took the premise and made my own, fall-inspired salad. We served it as part of our Thanksgiving dinner and it was a unique and refreshing vegetable on the plate. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
It’s the week after Thanksgiving, and we find ourselves with a refrigerator bursting at the seams, as we often do. This year was unique because we spent the whole weekend fighting and slowly recovering from a fairly nasty head cold. We were in and out of fever, but more importantly congested and exhausted for almost a full week.
To try and combat feeling run down, Heather was really hankering for pho. This Vietnamese soup has a reputation for having healing powers (for illness as well as hangover), and is something I’ve never actually experienced at a restaurant. We decided to create our own version of the show Chopped, and make pho with the leftovers in the house and our pantry. We didn’t even go out to find noodles or a noodle replacement, and instead added extra bean sprouts. Feel free to add your favorite noodle of choice.
We made our turkey broth with the carcass of the turkey, 2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar, a bay leaf, and 1/2 tsp of sea salt. We put the carcass in a stock pot and covered with water and boiled for 16 hours. If this is too much time, or you no longer have your bird, feel free to buy stock from the store—just be sure to read the label!
Psst: Holiday specials are going on now. A link to learn more is at the bottom of this post.
Who am I to become a Beautycounter Consultant? Let’s be honest…
I am not a make-up person. I’m not even a skin care person. I’ve been very fortunate to have good skin my whole life and, perhaps because of that, I’ve always been lazy about skin care and make-up.
OK. OK. There is one thing I won’t leave the house without—mascara. But that’s it. Literally. I go to work most days with nothing but mascara on. I carry a chapstick or sheer lip gloss for when I’m feeling fancy.
I think “sales” is a dirty word. Or, well, I used to think that, and some days I still do. When I think of sales, I think of the overly happy lotion lady at the mall who chases you for a few feet as you pass their stand and the flood insurance salesman who swears you need his product even though there hasn’t been a flood in your area for 1,000 years.
Yes, I realize these are exaggerations. I know that, logically. But whatever impressions I felt as a child or teenager were emotional, visceral even. They have stuck with me and despite my efforts to think rationally about these sorts of things, the emotions color my perceptions at least a little bit.
So, again, why on earth would I become a Beautycounter Consultant?
There’s something magical about fruit trees. In our experience, which admittedly is very little, they don’t require much work and reap many benefits. Our fig tree produced a great harvest, more than either of us expected between early August and mid-October. In case you missed our other recipes, we had a lot of fun creating Chicken and Fig Tagine, Cider-Braised Boneless Short Ribs with Figs, Arugula and Fresh Fig Salad, and Fig Coconut Yogurt.
Today, even though we’re away on vacation, we bring you another fig recipe: homemade fig jam. It is great on rice crackers; you might also enjoy it with a soft cheese like brie (if you can tolerate high-quality dairy) or Kite Hill almond-based Cream Cheese Style Spread. Brent’s mom used it with almond butter on sprouted bread (a new twist on PB&J!) and plans to use it instead of store-bought fruit spread in her Linzer cookies for Christmas. Whether you have your own fig tree or find them at the store, we hope you’ll enjoy making and eating this fig jam or any of our other fig recipes. Let us know what you decide to do—we would love to hear from you!